NYS DEC asking North Country hunters for input on fall waterfowl season dates
Friday, March 29, 2013 - 6:27 am

North Country hunters are invited to submit recommendations to the Northeastern Zone Waterfowl Hunter Task Force for the dates of the fall 2013 duck hunting seasons.

Comments are due by April 5. DEC will evaluate the task force recommendations in setting waterfowl seasons, which must comply with federal rules.

Task force members in St. Lawrence County are Pete Barney, 64 Old State Rd., Potsdam, NY 13676, email pmb10@cornell.edu, and Nick McNamara, 1125 Co. Rt. 14, Rensselaer Falls, NY 13680, telephone 344-6580, email mcnamara624@yahoo.com.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said that DEC is looking for ways to expand opportunities for both in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and women. “The public’s input will help us do that for the waterfowl hunting season in a manner that is most advantageous for sportsmen and women,” Martens said.

DEC recently appointed task forces around the state to solicit recommendations for the fall 2013 hunting seasons, including opening and closing dates, split seasons and a special hunting weekend for junior hunters, ages 12-15. Each task force includes representatives from the New York State Conservation Council, established waterfowl hunting organizations and individual waterfowl hunters who provide input from diverse points of view.

The recommended dates must be within federal guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). For fall 2013, DEC expects the USFWS to allow a 60-day duck season, split into no more than two segments per zone, opening no earlier than Sept. 21, 2013, and closing no later than Jan. 26, 2014.

Waterfowl hunters can participate in the season-setting process by providing duck season suggestions to any task force member on or before April 5. Comments can be provided by mail, telephone or e-mail, with e-mail being the preferred method. The task forces will meet in April. DEC plans to announce tentative duck hunting season dates in June.

Task force members in St. Lawrence County are Pete Barney, 64 Old State Rd., Potsdam, NY 13676, email pmb10@cornell.edu, and Nick McNamara, 1125 Co. Rt. 14, Rensselaer Falls, NY 13680, telephone 344-6580, email mcnamara624@yahoo.com.

Information on other task force members is at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/42364.html.

Input on hunting seasons for other migratory game birds, including Canada geese, snow geese, brant and woodcock, may also be submitted to any member of DEC’s season-setting team. However, due to greater uncertainty about federal regulations for those species, decisions and tentative dates will probably not be known until later in the summer.